Farewell to Namawinelake

See here.

Update:  an ‘explanation’ from Jagdip Singh here.

63 replies on “Farewell to Namawinelake”

Just to say a huge ‘thank you’ to NWL/Jag, His/her departure creates a huge vacuum which I hope can be filled. Meantime, very best of luck and every success to Jag for the future.

Yes, comments are disabled on the NWL blogpost but I would like to echo the above.

The website and information posted has been extremely helpful to me over the years in both a personal and professional capacity.

I hope we find out who you are one day!

@ Brian Flanagan I share you sentiments and only hope that this retirement is being driven by a hugely rewarding financial offer to Jag by some lucky company. However I am 100% confident that the void left will never be filled, not even 10% filled.

@ Namawinelake

Congratulations on your extraordinary achievement.

Your initiative and your perseverance has shown how citizens can take matters into their own hands and impact on public life. The time and effort to do the work you have done is mind-boggling.

I hope that the end is of your own control and not any other matter. I wish you well. I think we will hear more.

“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

– Tennyson, Ulysses

I wrote a short poem for nwl:

Goodbye Nama wine
Though we never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the Dail Bar
Without a brain
They set us a treadmill
And they made you change your name

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a bad bank in a broke country
Never knowing who to cling to
When the debts called in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a swill
Your candle might have burned out
Your legend never will

boohoo weep weep

Was there some legal incident or etc behind this rather rapid shutdown of the excellent NWL? Would be good to know the full story if there is one.

@Jagdip Singh

An exemplar of active citizenship on shedding some light on the opaque world of NAMA_land. Thank you!

€30+Billion NAMA_land, the world’s largest property company, paid for by .. er .. the Irish Citizenry without … er… its consent!

Hats off to Jagdip Singh. You will be missed. Thank you very much for the sterling work you did for Ireland. A dozen like you and we might actually have fixed the place up proper!

A contribution to NAMA_land in memory of NamaWineLake

“European states assumed their present-day form of welfare states only after the catastrophes of the two world wars. In the course of economic globalization, these states find themselves in turn exposed to the explosive pressure of economic interdependencies that now tacitly permeate national borders. Systemic constraints again shatter the established relations of solidarity and compel us to reconstruct the challenged forms of political integration of the nation state. This time, the uncontrolled systemic contingencies of a form of capitalism driven by unrestrained financial markets are transformed into tensions between the member states of the European Monetary Union. If one wants to preserve the Monetary Union, it is no longer enough, given the structural imbalances between the national economies, to provide loans to over-indebted states so that each should improve its competitiveness by its own efforts. What is required is solidarity instead, a cooperative effort from a shared political perspective to promote growth and competitiveness in the euro zone as a whole.

Such an effort would require Germany and several other countries to accept short- and medium-term negative redistribution effects in its own longer-term self-interest — a classic example of solidarity, at least on the conceptual analysis I have presented.” (Habermas, from the link above)

Aw. Now that’s a shame.

An extraordinary effort. I hope one day he reveals himself so hugs all round can be administered.


NWL, thank you for your brilliant research and analysis. Its a real shame we will not see your writing again -unless you emerge in some other guise.

Dear Jagdip,

I am really sorry to hear that NWL is coming to an end. It has been an incredibly valuable public service — “social production” at its best. Thank you for the almost unbelievable personal effort you have put into the enterprise. It will be sorely missed.

Best wishes for all your future endeavors.


Well done to Jagdip Singh / NamaWineLake on all his work.

Unfortunately there is only so much voluntary work anybody can do before it hurts their professional career or home life.

The questions is who should be performong the function that the NWL blog did.

We rely on our politicians, our media and independent regulators to shine a light on these matters.

Due to an ineffective electoral system that promotes generalists and gladhandlers we can rule out our politicians. They don’t have the expertise or resources. they also don’t have the time because their real job is marketing themselves to individual constituents. We can forget about them.

Our Civil Service that focuses on generalists, does not reward specialists, and abhors accountability. It particularly abhors any kind of cross departmental or cross-organisational co-operation or monitoring. The structures within our Civil service that allowed us to sleep-walk into economic Armageddon persist. We can forget about them.

Our print media has some good people such as Simon Carswell and John Ihle in it. Our television and radio have some good people but they do not do investigations themselves. Unfortunately, the print media is facing bankruptcy. They might be some use but lack of resources are killing them.

I don’t think any independent regulator has an oversight role for NAMA. We can forget about them.

Bloggers generate a lot of noise but few generate the clarity and quality that NamaWineLake generated.

It’s not looking good. NWL will be missed.

Massive loss. The blue shirts are winning and are getting more brazen by the day. The volume of work was astounding.
Those involved in NAMA just let out a massive sigh of relief.

I too wish to echo the views expressed above.

In anyone’s language what Jagdip Singh / NamaWineLake has done has been extraordinary. The clarity, the sense of fair play,overall sound judgement and the unveiling of significant problems associated with all aspects of the last 6 years of economic disaster after disaster have been immense.

As an keen reader I will sorely miss the daily updates. In many respects I have a sunken feeling like a teenager has when the news of their icon boy band suddenly breaking up first gets aired – sadly this latest news is significantly more important as Namawinelake has shed a light into aspects of Irish life that affect all age cohorts and for that Jagdip deserves enormous credit.

Many people up and down the country do unbelievable work in a voluntary capacity which puts their professional and personal lives on hold for a considerable period of time. The contribution that Namawinelake has made in a voluntary capacity is up there with the very best of them. I applaud that effort at every opportunity simply because it’s deserved.

I’ve no doubt Namawinelake may feel a sense of relief this morning (legally and mentally) but over time I believe the vigor and enthusiasm may return under a different guise – here’s hoping.

Thank you.

I read this sentence several times now,

I truly regret that I can’t continue something that has become more than full-time and has stopped me leading anything like a normal life.

and while I do not wish to post here what I read between the lines, especially in context of his blog post of May 5th, I am convinced this is one of the most serious losses for Irish society.

I remember your blog from day one, it was inspiration, it was a level of journalism that far exeeded the mainstream spin media and yellow press that makes the Irish media landscape. In a sense, to me it was always the very Irish version of WikiLeaks, it reflected the same spirit to me.


I do not know for certain what caused you to close this blog, but I do know for certain that it is people like you who deserve more than only recognition for your idealistic work.

This is a very very sad day for Ireland in deed.

Peace my friend and thank you so much for your relentless efforts.

…and so the story continues… RESISTANCE! Resistance against the reactionary forces that enslave entire nations by means of financial terror and lies.


A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

Thanks Philip for publishing this, and to be clear about the “explanation” linked above, which is aimed at the sophisticated and good-humoured broadsheet audience, the only relevant part is exactly what was said in the blogpost yesterday – no coercion, threat, conspiracy.

Not sure what the collective noun is for “compliments” but based on the above, it feels like it should be “an embarrassment” though presumably at some point, there’ll be a contrary view. But whilst the pleasantness lasts, thanks very much.

Lastly, thanks Philip for hosting IE and here, it will remain essential viewing.

A big thanks for the trojan work, nwl. I thought this was a very valuable and insightful blog. Perhaps of greater importance was that it probably kept certain parties a little more honest than they would otherwise be. Given the amount of content, I’m surprised you didn’t burn out long ago. Congratulations on creating something that was valued by many.

My very best wishes to you, Jag. The only open independent window on NAMA has closed. I comes at a time when IBRC sells €12 billen (I know you’ll like that) of loans with no “spin free” commentary. You leave an enormous vacuum. It is a sad day for Irish journalism. You were truly the very best – the best analysis and the best commentary that I have ever encountered. I will also miss the banter and cross fertilisation of ideas and argument with the other commenters on the blog (that includes you Brian).

As a child, Hemmingway’s “Farewell to Arms” was the first book that I read, where not everything ended well. The NAMA saga will not end well and the loss of its only independent and serious analyst and chronicler means that, in the usual Irish fashion, the truth of its demise will remain hidden from the Irish people.

Slanagus beannacht- to an exceptional talent.

Where are the Irish developers going to blog from now on. The most anti-tenant ,anti-Nama vehicle in the state.

…. best wishes to you. Hope we find another forum for discussion even if it is only a fraction as useful and stimulating as NWL (I’m already suffering NWL withdrawal symptions).

He stopped…because if you look at Jag’s update/riddle at the top of this column linked to broadsheet, it’s because the:

Panda eats, shoot and leaves.

Oh…the difference a comma makes.
Nothing has ever been done like the NAMA wine lake blog. Still in shock but deepest respect for Jag and the commentators who I will miss.

Well done, Dorothy. I didn’t get it! I feel homeless at the moment. To the NWL commenters – I will miss you. We were a community. My best wishes to every one of you.

@wstt I agree wholeheartedly. A huge loss. Lets hope that at one stage the discussion can continue.

Well done DJ:)… All best tiger….
John C oh we will find a forum to pressure our agenda …LOL


A Black and White Marsupial of Asian Origin who:

Eats, Shoots and Leaves…….


Essential reading. Thanks.

If Ireland did MBE’s and suchlike, you should have one.

Hats off.

Very sorry to see you go, and congratulations and thanks for your effort and patriotism.

The mouthpiece for the commercial property cartel which the corrupt politicians organised for their bagmen. The most anti-commercial tenant vehicle in the state.

NWL always reminded me of Niggas with Attitude.
Same sort of thing.

And the great crash documented so well.
So much ineptitude and venality for such a small country.
Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta?

I wonder who will ultimately write the history of this lost decade.

“I hear the blog isn’t being continued” and the panda says “I truly regret that I can’t continue something that has become more than full-time and has stopped me leading anything like a normal life” Just at that precise moment, the second hand budges and advances in a single movement to 60.

What is the reason the panda isn’t continuing the blog?

The Panda’s life had become like the second hand, stuck. Unable to function normally.

Symbolically, just as he declared he could not go on, the second hand (his life) dislodged and started to function as normal again.

NAMA’s second-hand remains stuck at 30.11.2009, & that determines that they can continue their normal-to-them-but-abnormal-to-anyone-else existence. I reckon the bar is NAMA (stuck in a time warp, with the outward appearance of normality), we are the Panda – we can indulge the fantasy or cause it to change. I’m just not sure how we can get NAMA’s second hand working again…. if I can find out where the panda is, I’d follow him (her?).

I discovered this blog around September 2010 and since then it became indispensable reading for me on a daily basis. Who is NamaWineLake? Here are my thoughts:

1. The blog was written by the same person all the time – a man. The writing style was the same in all the blogposts. It was not written by a collective.
2. The writer is more than likely 50+, a qualified (chartered) accountant with perhaps some auditing experience. May also be a member of the RICS and/or has worked as a property valuer. Quite obviously he has extensive experience in property valuation, the property market in general, and the interpretation of accounts.
3. I would guess he has lived and worked in London for a significant amount of time. He appears to be very familiar with that city. His email address was a ‘.co.uk’.
4. At the time the blog was commenced I would guess he had not spent much time in Ireland in the previous years. Initially the blog used a lot of ‘British language’ e.g. ‘Londonderry’, ‘mainland UK’, but this softened over the years and his inherent ‘Irishness’ came out more. He began to use the occasional ‘cupla focal’ and his ability to use the English language creatively came out with several Irish constructions of sentences. Some of the (perfect) English used could only have been used by an Irish person. So, ‘Jagdip’ is definitely Irish born, reared, and educated. I can only presume this Indian-sounding name is some in-joke – perhaps an amalgam of the names of some Indian people or businesses he worked with or lived with in London.
5. NWL had a great love of the English language and was a stickler for the correct use of English.
6. I suspect a family man also who is handy in the kitchen. He once gave a good recipe for home-made beef burgers. No vegetarian he!
7. His cultural references suggested a man 50+ but what was also noteworthy is that he is a true Renaissance man and had a wide range of interests and was obviously very intelligent and, more importantly, intellectually curious. I suspect he would find as much interest in the mating habits of snails or the life of Beethoven as the annual accounts of NAMA.

Anyway, farewell my friend and constant internet companion. I’ve had withdrawal symptoms all week. There is an empty void in my current affairs coverage (NWL would enjoy that pleonasm). I almost never buy newspapers (except at weekends to get the TV programme listings for the coming week) and the ending of the blogpost really brings home to me how poor the coverage of issues and the depth of analysis is in the daily media in Ireland.

NamaWineLake was a breath of fresh of fresh air on the body politic.

I will miss you.

All the best wishes in your new endeavours.

@ Bunbury

“and the ending of the blogpost really brings home to me how poor the coverage of issues and the depth of analysis is in the daily media in Ireland.”

+ 1

Watching RTE news, for example, is painful. So many things are changing and there is very little insight. The newspapers have a lot less money. They don’t go very deep either.
Much of the good stuff seems to be on line. Or in elite media such as the FT or New York review for the occasional social angle.

@JK…. He maybe fits the profile. Even featured in the Flood Tribunal. But ….. No.

A great pity NWL has called it a day, but entirely understandable given the workload such a project entails. The body of work will stand as an invaluable resource for future historians of this time. Fans of the site will miss our daily dose, but the real loss will be felt in the future when the history books are being written, and the lack of an independent record of NAMA’s activities from May 2013 on becomes apparent. Even if someone – or better an academic institution – was willing to host some kind of a data skip into which all sorts of NAMA stuff could be thrown for sorting later, it would be preferable to the void that awaits. Otherewise we may have to wait for a very long time, and an official history of NAMA, relying on the agencies own documents. Which if the annual reports are anything to go by, may be a rather colourless affair.

Genius is the ability to do something nobody else could ever do. Namawinelake was pure genius. He was an educator to anyone who read his blog. Amidst all the spin of the last three years, it was good to know that there was one well written, well research site capable of speaking the truth and letting anyone with an open mind know that the emperor had no clothes. in an age of jaded yellow journalism, he will remain a beacon and an example for others to emulate.


@jc. Hi John. I will miss you. If you can’t get cheap rents now you never will. Anyway, Simon is spending a lot of time in Africa- no time for writing blogs.
@JG passing through NYC in July. We’ll have that pint in South Manhattan.

NAMAWINELAKE February 15th


Who-Shot -The -Tiger

“one paragraph says it all. He states we will become Zimbabwe(without the sun) if we legislate retrospectively for short term political gain”. “If it happens there will ne nobody left in employment in the country to turn out the lights–no matter what the retailers say”

SF ca
The blog on the rent review question and the excellent comments by all may be the most important issue that has ever been addressed on the site.
We are where we are,but we are discussing a new government policy,which could lead to the total collapse of the Irish economy and Irish society.
We all need to make contact with senior figures in the Fine Gael party and try to explain the consequencies of the proposed rent review legislation.

I refer you to a post by Professor Karl Whelan on 2nd March 2012 titled
“MyHome/Irish Mortgage Brokers Report”
There was 29 responses after which all further responses were blocked. It was Professor Karl Whelan’s last post. I believe it was the only post on the Irish Economy blog that was blocked.

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